"Francis and the Holy Name of Jesus"
Almost everyone knows something about St. Francis of Assisi. The saint of joy.
The saint of the little birds and the lovely flowers. The laughing Francis.
The singing Francis. The extravagant Francis. The ever-giving Francis.
We end these reflections with the simplest and most powerful of all prayers – the Holy Name ofJESUS. That St. Francis believed in frequent recourse to the power of the Holy Name is evidenced both in his writings and in the lives and writings of eight centuries of faithful Franciscan followers who, like St. Bernardine of Siena, endeavored to raise high the IHS standard in the Order and throughout the world.
JESUS! The early biographers tell of that unforgettable Christmas Eve in 1223 on Mount Greccio, when Francis proclaimed the Name of the newborn Savior with such sweetness and such fire, such tenderness and such devotion as to move the hearts of all who heard him. He who was shortly to bear the five wounds of the Redeemer in his body had become so utterly one with Christ that Friar Thomas of Celano was to write:
Indeed, Francis was always occupied with JESUS;
JESUS! May the power of His Holy Name be upon us and work through us as light
and leaven to a world so much in need of Christ’s saving Presence.